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Pride and Prejudice

Literary Link

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Literary Devices in Pride and Prejudice

What literary devices contribute to the theme of the novel?
The comic, or “light and bright, and sparkling” tone of the novel adds to the satirical outlook on the English upper class and social demands of the era. Satire is used to highlight the problems of the upper-class in Regency England. Foreshadowing occurs only once, to hint at Elizabeth's eventual love for Mr. Darcy; she is struck with admiration for Pemberley, which is a symbol for Darcy himself. The themes of love, reputation, and class, as well as the motifs of journeys and courtship are prevalent in the novel.
 
Which literary devices are particularly unique and effective?
As Pride and Prejudice is labeled as a comedy of manners, Austen's ingenius use of satire is essential to the novel. Austen perfected the technique of poking fun at social classes and bringing the nonsensical side out, while still providing an accurate look into the world of Regency England. The motifs of journeys and courtship are also a major player in the novel. Courtship begins to determine or at least shape a character's personality, and each courtship becomes a spring board for the different sides of love, whether genuine or simply as a way to advance on the social ladder.
 
How did Jane Austen use imagery to develop the setting and characters?
Imagery does not play a very significant role in Pride and Prejudice. It is used to a minimal extent, as most of the novel takes place through dialogue. However, it is used when describing the beauty of Pemberley. This estate,the only symbol in the novel, is of Mr. Darcy himself. The fact that the greatest imagery is used when describing him may or may not be a concious tactic employed by Austen.
 
What are the symbols used in the novel?
Pride and Prejudice is a novel that is oddly void of symbolism, partly because of its dependence on dialogue and not description.  However, there is one major symbolic presence in the novel--Pemberley, Darcy’s estate. The beautiful estate sits at the center of the novel, literally and figuratively, as a geographic symbol of Darcy himself.
 
What are major conflicts?
The major conflict is between Elizabeth Bennett and the snobbish class-consciousness of the era, which is brought to life by Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Miss Bingley. There are also more minor conflicts between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth and Mr. Collins, and Lydia and her parents.
 
What is the point-of-view and its significance?
Pride and Prejudice is written in third-person omniscient. This allows the reader to see the perspective of more than one character in the complicated social whirl of Regency England. It also embroils the reader deeper into the conflicts and problems presented within the novel.
 
What figurative language is used?
There is little figurative language used in Pride and Prejudice, mainly because of its heavy use of dialogue. Most of the information about people, surroundings, and appearances, is conveyed to the reader via conversation between characters. Thus, the need for detailed snapshots is erased.
 
How are  satire and irony  used in the novel?
Pride and Prejudice is, at its core, a satire on the ridiculous demands of socialitist obligations in Regency England. Austen satirizes the snobbish upper class and their constant struggle to reach ultimate social acceptance. She also ridicules the lower-class for their inadequacies and misbehaviors resulting from poor breeding.
Irony is used in several places throughout the novel within the dialogue itself. A prime example is exhibited through Elizabeth's comments regarding Mr. Darcy's character.
 This is an example of iron in the novel:
"Yes; but intricate characters are the most amusing. They have at least that advantage."..."But people alter themselves so much, that there is something new to be observed in them for ever."
This is "the interest that makes the book 'go' and shows the type of awareness we are analyzing...[someone's] behavior can be taken in so many ways, because they are not always the same people." This idea is exhibited throughout the novel.

(Austen, #1)(Rubenstein, #10)(Sparknotes #9)

(this page by ML)
 
 

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